My school tells me children should not be coached to pass the 11 Plus Verbal reasoning test- I don’t know what to do.

Many schools have a slightly naïve view of this. In an ideal world no child would be tutored, every primary school would be excellent, all parents would be diligent about homework and reading and the cream of pupils would naturally rise to the top and to go Grammar Schools. Sadly almost none of that is true.

In areas where the 21 types are used parents do coach their children and by and large those children do better with coaching than they would have otherwise done.

In areas where the CEM test is used, while it is supposed to be ‘un-coachable’ children are still tutored. We believe with the right tuition focussing on comprehension skills and vocabulary that performance can be improved.

The biggest change in performance comes through ensuring a child has as wide a vocabulary as possible, this is something schools should be doing but often parents can improve upon it by making sure reading is encouraged and some specific work is done on broadening a child’s vocabulary.

Beyond this work on the individual question types and on timed testing will also have a large effect where children are tested on the 21 types and a lesser though still significant effect where the CEM style tests are used.

    If you have questions which we have not addressed in our forum pages, please feel free to submit them via the form provided below.

    Your Name (*)

    Your Email (*)

    Your Message

    Which 11 Plus Exam Preparation Options Are Right For You ?

    11 Plus Private Tutors

    • Personalised Work
    • 1-1
    • High feedback levels


    • VERY Expensive
    • Lots of work at home
    • Lots of travel

    11 Plus Tuition Centres

    • Structured work
    • Third party involvement
    • Some feedback


    • Some children don't progress
    • Lots of work at home
    • Lots of travel

    11 Plus Guided Courses

    • Structured work provided
    • No wasted time
    • Help and advice on hand


    • High parental commitment
    • Cost higher than DIY

    11 Plus DIY- Books

    • Parents in full control
    • Work can be totally tailored
    • Lowest cost


    • Difficult to plan well
    • Difficult to deliver well
    • Maximum parental effort